An essay by Richard H. Turner – July 2018
John More, a Catholic recusant physician, has been a footnote figure – having left behind almost no writings of his own, a somewhat shadowy bit-part player on the early Stuart public stage. This essay draws on contemporary national, local, ecclesiastical, medical and family records, as well as subsequent historical and biographical material, to establish his contribution to the social, political and economic context of his times. Again and again paradox is encountered, exemplifying Shakespeare’s observation that – in the seventeenth century at any rate – ‘one man in his time plays many parts’. Underlying Dr More’s activities and aspirations can be detected ambition to advance both his religion and his kin. Consequently he and his heirs became involved, over three generations, in numerous and contrasting fields of action – medicine, politics, commerce, military service, the Church, landholding. As with all human endeavour, the actual outcomes reflect the impact of unforeseeable events, social change, personal foibles, and mere chance. Part 2 of this essay examines this working out of his legacy – both religious and material – by his heirs, in search of a fuller answer to the question Who was Dr John More?
This is a comprehensive essay in two parts, with extensive appendices and endnotes. It is presented in the form of 20 PDF files, accessible from the menu below. Each PDF will open in a separate tab, so that the reader may easily toggle between two or more files.
Part 1 – a Multifaceted Career
Part 2 – Who was Dr John More?
The author, Richard H. Turner, may be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org